Australia: Did you know....recent developments in planning and environment in Queensland

Planning & Environment Update
Services: Property & Projects
Industry Focus: Property

Queensland is pushing for action on climate change?

In a clear signal that momentum towards taking action on climate change is increasing, this week the Queensland Government announced that it has received 6000 submissions on its discussion paper Advancing Climate Action in Queensland: Making the transition to a low carbon future.

The Queensland Government has described this response as 'overwhelmingly positive' and will now analyse the submissions to help inform the direction climate strategy will take as part of the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy (Q-CAS).

As part of Q-CAS, Mark Baker-Jones and our Planning & Environment team are working with the Queensland Government and relevant stakeholders to facilitate development of a Sector Adaptation Plan (SAP) for business and industry. Responses relevant to that sector will be considered in the development of that SAP.

Keeping with the low carbon theme, it was also announced this week that the Queensland Government will boost its commitment to supporting solar power from a 120 megawatt program to a 150 megawatt program, including six new facilities in regional areas.

That we know our chickens?

Poultry farming frequently emerges as one of the more contentious types of rural development. While the public's appetite for chicken products grows, managing the potential impacts and finding suitable land can create problems for the industry.

Mark Baker-Jones and Nell van Weerdenburg will be presenting at PIA's Rural and Regional Planning Conference on the topic of innovative planning for the future of poultry. This follows on from their attendance at this year's Poultry Information Exchange Conference, which highlighted the need for industry strategies to address the legal and planning barriers to the development of poultry facilities.

Mark and Nell will be providing an in-depth analysis of recent case law affecting the poultry industry, identifying common themes for successful future development applications and key issues that arise through the approval process. This includes urban encroachment and innovation in managing amenity impacts.

The 2016 PIA Rural and Regional Planning Conference is taking place on 26 – 28 October in Stanthorpe.

Residential developments in Brisbane's West End are in the spotlight?

The controversial call-in of the 'West Village' residential development by Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier and Local Government and Planning Minister, has garnered significant media attention this week.

The call-in overrides the approval given by Brisbane City Council in May for the development, which includes seven 15-storey towers and has faced fierce local opposition. Of particular concern are the intensity of the development and the limited open space provided.

The call-in brings into question the circumstances in which the power ought to be exercised by the Minister.The Property Council has criticised the move, suggesting that the power should be limited to circumstances where a 'stalemate or roadblock' prevents a decision, not where a valid development approval has been given by local government.

The changes that can be made to the development as part of the call-in process are limited, but are expected to focus on increasing the amount of green space proposed.

Another West End development has taken an interesting approach to address the over-supply of apartments in the inner-city area. Despite having a development approval for 46 units, which are primarily 1 and 2 bedrooms, it has applied to almost halve the number of units to 27, comprising 3 and 4 bedroom units.

The change also responds to the increasing appetite for larger family-sized apartments, where proximity to amenities is overcoming the traditional preference for a house and yard.

These five decisions were handed down by the Queensland Planning & Environment Court this week?

Donovan v Brisbane City Council [2016] QPEC 041 – Local residents successfully applied to be joined as co-respondents to a permissible change application. The proposed changes involved an increase to building location envelopes and the residents were found to be 'directly affected' by the changes sought.

Kanesamoorthy & Anor v Brisbane City Council [2016] QPEC 042 – An appeal against the refusal of a development application to demolish a pre-1946 house was dismissed. Despite the streetscape having mixed traditional and modern buildings, it was sufficient that the house contributed to the mixed character.

James Russell Architects v Brisbane City Council & Anor [2016] QPEC 043 – An appeal against the refusal of a development application for extensions to a heritage listed church was dismissed. The proposal was found to cause unacceptable impacts on the cultural heritage of the area and the existing building.

Reibel Farms Pty Ltd v Whitsunday Regional Council [2016] QPEC 044 – An appeal against the refusal of a residential subdivision was refused. There were a number of reasons for refusal, but critically it was found that there was a potential for flooding that could not be overcome.

Bourboulas & Ors v Brisbane City Council (No 2) [2016] QPEC 045 –The court dismissed an application for costs against the Council following a successful appeal regarding the relocation of a pre-1946 house. It was found that the Council acted in accordance with its duty to uphold the planning scheme and it was not in the public interest to impose an order for costs.

This article is intended to provide commentary and general information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this article. Authors listed may not be admitted in all states and territories

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